A few months ago, I started a field technician job which requires me to drive around the great state of Texas. Of course, while on the highways, byways, and backways of the Lone Star State, I noticed a few things:
My company car is a Chevy Equinox which is a boat compared to my Honda CR-V
I have dubbed my company car: “The Leviathan.”
I do like that The Leviathan has a BRAAP horn as opposed to the CR-V’s meep.
That moment when you’re happy to be back on a properly paved road
It has been a while since my last solo adventure at Guadalupe State Park. I had spent a night with friends in freezing temperatures back in December, but that’s neither here nor there. As always, I noticed a few things…
I wrote this list down on paper and thought about posting scans of the pages. I looked at my terrible handwriting and thought better of it.
I think I like taking Blanco Road up to the park instead of 281, fewer lights and a more relaxed drive.
Also more jackasses tailgating you on the slower parts, but what can you do?
Had to take a site with electricity due to the water-only campsites being worked on, oh well.
Nothing like that OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T BREAK feeling when putting up tent poles.
Of course the sun comes out after I set up the tent and go hiking.
Sound that I don’t miss: Vehicles.
Yes, I have my phone on me, for pictures. With the ringer muted and my smartwatch on, I don’t have to worry about missing calls.
There aren’t many people here, which is nice.
Since I don’t go outdoors as often as I should, I find myself constantly wondering what all the noises are.
Lots of butterflies about, even managed to photograph a few.
More work in the park being done near the river, not sure what’s going on there.
Beginning of hike: Feels good! One hour later: Whew! Nearing camp on the hike back: OMG ARE WE THERE YET?
Got spooked by a large bird taking off from the branches above me, nothing like that WOOSH of big wings flapping.
As I neared camp, I wondered if maybe I should have packed sandwiches instead of canned food.
Surprised I haven’t burned off my eyebrows from lighting my camp stove yet.
It’s nice to have camping cooking equipment instead of borrowing from the kitchen.
Upon further review, hot food for lunch hit the spot!
Slightly disappointed that I still have a cell signal, but at the same time it’s good to know it’s there.
I’d been going nuts trying to find one of my flashlights only to find I had left it in my tent when I folded it up back in April.
Note to self: Take the picture first before trying to move in closer. Armadillos spook easily.
Also: Don’t only pack food things that contribute to heartburn. Off to H-E-B.
Yes, I always have to say ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ whenever I light my lantern.
Had a story idea pop in my head mid-afternnon. It had an unfortunate ending until a more optimistic one came to me during dinner. Don’t write when hangry if you want happy endings.
If you like them, they’re ‘critters,’ if you don’t, they’re ‘varmints.’
They had better not be any awoo-ing while I’m trying to sleep tonight.
Heard a bunch of what I hope were fireworks at around 8:24pm.
This being Texas, gunfire isn’t necessarily unusual, though.
Shop towels aren’t bad for washing dishes.
Always gotta find that one dark spot in camp for, how can I put it, ‘taking care of business’ without having to walk to the men’s room 😀
Got spooked by a pair of raccoons fighting in a nearby tree.
I had put up my food and know to not feed the wildlife, so to the victor, go no spoils.
I’m not saying I’m paranoid about raccoons, but I’m making damn sure the Excelsior (my Honda CR-v) is locked whenever I’m not nearby.
Almost fell into temptation during the trip to H-E-B, but avoided stopping at the Whataburger across the street for dinner.
Thing I forgot: Radio.
Idea: Replace the ‘nut-buster’ tripod chair I use in the tent with a small beanbag.
Nice to know the animal I’ve been hearing for the last half hour was just an armadillo
Armadillos are noisy!
My battery pack can charge my phone all the way…now that I have a smaller phone!
The overnight weather was perfect, cool without being too cold.
I chose poorly at breakfast; sometimes a McDonald’s McGriddle isn’t worth the lousy service.
Going to pass by my old office on the drive home, going to be hard to not flip the bird at the building as I pass.
After (too many) years since my last trip to the iconic Texas summer getaway, I decided to take stay for a night to see if anything had changed since then. I’m glad to say that the park is mostly the same, but I did notice a few things…
It is only a two hour drive from San Antonio to Garner, as opposed to three and a half from my parent’s house. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?
I took Highway 90 on the way over, and will likely take the ‘scenic route’ on the way home.
Shocked to find hardly any vehicles at the park office, think I picked a perfect time to come!
Temperature notwithstanding, anyway.
Slept without the benefit of air conditioning at home the night before to prepare myself. Not too hard.
Resisting the urge to turn on my CR-V’s air conditioner on the drive over, however, was quite difficult!
Lost my cell signal somewhere between Sabinal and the park. Didn’t miss it…much.
Okay, maybe I missed it a little, but that’s because I’m waiting to hear back about an interview.
Despite the low number of cars at the park office, I still had to wait a bit.
I pulled number 70 and the last one helped was 65. People have no patience!
My original plan was to stay two nights, but I shortened it to one…maybe once it isn’t a billion degrees out.
It has been so long, I only have vague memories, but a few were jostled loose when I drove by the campsite I (think) I stayed in last time.
Upon reaching my site, I had to take a picture of my CR-V like it’s in one of those SUV commercials.
Set up my tent only to find the zipper on the door isn’t working quite right. Crap.
Only packed sandwiches and snacks to eat; I have no desire to prepare or eat any hot food while I’m here.
Not bringing my stove and any food to heat up made packing harder somehow.
Chili lime chips are the closest I’ll get to heat today.
I’m keeping my Pebble Time smartwatch on even though my cell phone is kaputski. It still works as a pedometer, and well, a watch.
Hiked down to the riverbank, had the obligatory ‘slip on the muddy ground/slick rocks’ moment.
It is hard to resist taking panoramic pictures. Some beautiful country, here.
Finding trash around cheeses me off, and I pick up what I can.
I can appreciate the irony in the gift shop selling bottle openers.
Yes, I bought one, because why not?
Picked up a cane sugar Dr. Pepper from the ‘Stinkin’ Sweet’ candy store to make sure it wasn’t defective.
Also bought a bumper sticker. Thanks to some unintended help from Verizon (see #7) it’s pretty easy to stay unplugged.
Didn’t do any tubing, but went for a refreshing swim by the dam.
Is there a rule that says the only people that buy portable speakers have to have the crappiest taste in music?
The tube/paddleboat rental shack is no more, replaced by a trailer.
They also have a food truck ‘Garner Grill.’ Dunno if they have tacos.
Spent most of the afternoon sitting at my campsite, listening to the radio and working on this list.
I also spent about twenty minutes just looking at birds.
Didn’t do much, really, but that’s kind of the point.
My $15 Emerson analog radio picks up The Eagle from San Antonio, yet my CR-V doesn’t. Huh.
Jackrabbits are freaking HUGE.
Saw a guy walk into the men’s room shower followed by his dog. Damn furries.
Garner Grill has the best food truck slogan ever: “Where fat free can take a hike.” No tacos, though.
They did have burgers, of which I partook. Hooray for convenience!
Got a story idea while waiting for my food. Hooray for inspiration!
I was a little surprised at how active the wildlife got once the sun went down.
Annoying music coming from a car at a nearby camp. If his battery dies, and they ask: No, I don’t have jumper cables.
Annoying music stops, and I can now hear music coming from somewhere else. *sigh*
You don’t know how sunburned you are until try to go to sleep.
It was a fitful night’s sleep. I’m not sure if it was the heat or my bedding that kept me up.
One night of tent camping is definitely enough in Texas’s August heat.
The scenic route home was a fun little drive.
I look forward to coming back when the temperature isn’t so brutal!